Thursday, 18 February 2016

A Load of Bollocks!

It’s the 18th February 2016. Not a particularly notable date for most people. For me, however, it is one of some considerable significance. It is a day I celebrate, and with good reason. Today marks three years CANCER FREE (and also a bollock short, but that's neither here nor there!)

The NHS gets criticised heavily, from people within the UK, to our glorious politicians, who continually tell us everything that’s wrong with it, and then promptly do nothing to fix said issues. Similarly, it comes under considerable attack from right-wing Americans, who use it to point out all the flaws of Universal healthcare, and how much better off they are paying ten years earnings to fix their ingrowing toenail.

Well, for me, the NHS has been nothing short of bloody brilliant. I was diagnosed, referred to the hospital, and under the knife, within the space of THREE WEEKS. Alongside the self examination which detected the tumour, there is absolutely no doubt that the NHS saved me a whole barrage of treatment. No chemotherapy. No radiation. One operation (and a hell of a lot of follow ups, but who gives a shit about that!). My oncologist is one phone call away, if I have any concerns, and when, last year, I did find some swelling in the lonely testicle, swinging down below, all on it’s Todd, I had an ultrasound within around ten days.

In short, I owe my life to the NHS. For fifteen years, it was a privilege to work for them as a nurse. I have needed their care on numerous occasions; none more so than in the wake of a cancer diagnosis. And they have never let me down. Not once.

It is entirely due to the care and kindness of the surgeons, oncologists, nursing staff and doctors that I am still here, being a belligerent old fart..

I have another two years before I can declare myself “cured”. I am technically “in remission”, To me, those are just words. I pay much more attention to blood tests, and have become intimately acquainted with terms like AFP, HCG and LFP (tumour makers). And as long as they stay within the desired parameters, the cancer remains GONE.

With every passing anniversary, the likelihood of it returning lessens considerably. That said, I will still remain vigilant, keeping an eye on ol’ lonely-ball.

Alongside the incredible support from the NHS (and of course, family and friends), the support I have received from people on Twitter has been beyond measure. Extraordinary kindness from people whom I have never met. You know who you are. And I am more grateful for your support and continued friendship than you could possibly imagine.

I was bloody lucky. I had no great battle to contend with. I am equally, acutely aware of the difficulties and hardships others have faced, and continue to face on a daily basis. My cancer pales into insignificance, by comparison. And I hope, where I can, that I can offer the same support that has so kindly been afforded me.

But today. Just this one day. This one’s mine. It belongs to me. And I’m grabbing it with both hands!

1 comment:

Helen Konnor said...

You are a great hero that could endure all this, and in this difficult struggle to emerge victoriously!
How do you all have suffered illness and difficulties related?
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